Sunday, June 21, 2015

Small Beginnings and the Miracle of Growth

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

3 weeks ago, we celebrated Pentecost Sunday when the Risen Lord sent the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. The coming of the Holy Spirit marked the birth of the Church. It started with 12 men who, upon receiving the Holy Spirit, began to speak in different languages. St. Peter’s preaching to the people who gathered outside the Cenacle gained the first conversion of 3,000 men. On the very day of the birth of the Church, 3,000 people were added to the number of the 12. The rest is history…people will be added to this number and when we look at the present 6 billion Catholics all over the world, we will just stand in awe and ask, “How did this happen?”

Small beginnings and the miracle of growth…I think this is what the parables say about the Kingdom of God which Christ our Lord established on the earth. A mustard seed grows into the largest of plants that the birds of the sky are able to dwell in its shade. Seeds sown by a farmer grow and yield an abundant harvest. “The farmer would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” That the Church would grow into its present size, we know not how. It simply is a miracle of growth. It cannot be attributed to anyone except to God alone. Before this miracle, we simply stand in awe.

I myself am a witness to such a miracle of growth. As I spend the last 30 days of my ministry in this parish, I look back at what we were then and then look at what we are now and I could testify that the transformation of our parish is itself a miracle of growth. How it happened, I know not how. It was simply God’s doing. The growth is simply God’s miracle. Accepting this miracle with gratitude is part of living by faith and not by seeing. We live by faith and not by sight.

Awe and gratitude make us delight in the fact that the birds of the sky dwell in the shade of the mustard plant. We simply do what is expected of us like the farmer who tills the soil, plants the seeds, and waters the plants. Aspiring to please the Lord, we simply do our daily duties. That is all we have to do. What we do is nothing out of the ordinary. But what God does is awesome. God provides the growth. What is ordinary has become the raw material of God’s extraordinary action. The ordinary effort of man is the raw material for the miracle of God.

Because the growth is something we know not how, we come here to say: Lord, it is good to give thanks to you, to sing praise to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your kindness at dawn and your faithfulness throughout the night!tuloy ang pagbunga kahit ang punong ito’y tumanda, luntia’t matatag, at ang dahon nito ay laging sariwa. Ito’y patotoo na ang Panginoo’y tunay na matuwid, siya kong sanggalang, matatag na batong walang bahid dungis.

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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